Private Benjamin (1980)
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Critic Reviews for Private Benjamin
"Private Benjamin" seems coarse, sluggish and interminable as a comedy scenario, but the profoundly depressing aspect of it is that Goldie Hawn appears to be receding as a comedienne and emerging as a boss lady.
[Hawn's] not so gifted that she can carry a heavy load of indifferent material on her own two little shoulders, without considerable sagging.
Another depressing example of the big-screen gag-string sitcom, it turns exclusively on a plot that grew from a concept that developed from an idea that somebody should never have had - Goldie Hawn joins the army.
Mr. Zieff demonstrates great skill in keeping the gags aloft and in finding new ways by which to free the laughs trapped inside old routines about latrine duty, war games, forced marches and calisthenics.
This is arguably although unfortunately Goldie Hawn's most memorable role.
Audience Reviews for Private Benjamin
Thinking that it's a vacation spot, Jewish American Princess joins the Army. Goldie Hawn, whose work never impressed me before, gives an excellent performance, mostly in her silence. Her cold, hurt stare at her father when her parents come to pick her up from boot camp, her dead-pan sex scene - she's great in the in-between moments. The film's femme-power message is good, but most of the story belies believability. Even the dumbest person wouldn't believe the myths about vacation condos in the Army, Private Benjamin's defeat of the opposing squad, the lecherous superior officer, her time in Paris, even the cliche of girls sitting around talking about how they lost their virginity - it's all too trite and too convenient and bespeaks heavy-handed writing. This story doesn't unfold; it jumps. Overall, Hawn's work is remarkable, but the film's flimsy plot leaves much to be desired.
Goldie Hawn -- I remember when she was cute. Sadly, cute grimaces don't make up for talent.
It's a good film, but only for it's obvious target audience. It has a few funny moments but it got boring in it's second half and ran out of steam. The performance of Goldie Hawn is great but everything else could have been better leaving this chick flick as enjoyable as accidentally signing up for the army.
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